Failing to think different?

Jeff LaMarche writes a reply to Molly Wood’s post.  Molly takes the position that Apple failed to think different with the iPad.  She goes on to say that Apple should stop trying to convince her the IPad is better than a netbook.

Well Princess, I don’t think Steve Jobs had you in mind when he came up with the thing!  What about iTunes?  Was he thinking of you then?  How about the iPod?  Did he give you a ring to run it by you?

Jeff sums it up nicely making a very strong point – I don’t hate my dishwasher because I can’t get to the command line. I don’t hate my DVD player because it runs a proprietary operating system

I agree with Scott Adams – the iPad will win against the Kindle.  How come you didn’t think of that Molly?

Rock on!

The details of (bad) design…

Scott Adams (the Dilbert dude!) put up a post recently on Bad Interfaces.  He starts innocently enough:

The other day I tried to change my address through a company’s web site and it wouldn’t accept my new address because I “already have a phone number.” WTF??? I tried various workarounds including no phone number, and a fake phone number, but it insisted that once you have a phone number, and the system knows it, you can never change your address. So I asked myself, am I the first person who ever owned a phone and wanted to change his address?

Then he continues talking about all the dumb designs in his new house:

Our new light switches have light indicators to tell you when a switch is turned off. That’s right: The “on” light indicates that the switch is off. At least that’s how my brain has interpreted it nine hundred times in a row. I understand that they want to make it easy to find the switch in the dark. But did they ever test how people use these things?

Now I agree with the address change.  I’ve moved many times and kept the same phone number.  But I’d challenge Scott on the light switch thing.

He asked if they ever test the use of these things?  Well maybe, maybe not.  I bet what they did do, is test if people brought them or not!

So Scott I’d ask you this:  How did these get installed in your home?  What was the process there?

(I’m not picking on Scott here.)  Take mobile phones.  Personally I used to be very pro Nokia.  I once switched  to an LG and hated it.  Then along came the N95!

A great phone with lot’s of positive reviews – but the thing was just too cumbersome to use!  Features like GPS or Camera or some applications are great, but if it takes me 6 – 10 button clicks then its too hard and I loose interest!

Its interesting how some people feel it is absolutely necessary to choose visual detail like the right carpets, tiles, bathroom fittings, but will neglect some of the more cerebral elements.

Why is the iPhone so popular?  Why do people love Dorf Taps in their bathroom?

If this type of thing is pushing your buttons, then perhaps you should take a look at what you like and why?  What don’t you like and why?

Rock on!

Seth Godin's 2%

Seth recently put up a post on 2%

To summarise, Seth suggests that regardless of what you do (crystal clear instructions, ALL CAPS) 2% of people will still stuff it up!

He finishes with:

Technologists hate this choice, but it’s true. We have to plan for human failure and part of our job is to have the resources and back up to allow these people to remain in our tribe even though they’re unable to follow a simple instruction.

To me, you can read this one of two ways.  Put your Microsoft hat on.  Windows Vista has 15 different ways to turn off the machine.

Now put your Apple Mac, iPhone or Facebook hat on.  What is the 2% there?

How do they plan for failure?  What does “failure” mean for a Twitter user?

The difference here is that the “barrier” for use is so low (open a web browser, make a phone call, update your Facebook status).  2% for a Facebook user seems very very high…

Adobe, iPhone & Flash part 2

From Scoble

 This doesn’t surprise me in the least…

iPod, Flash & Scoble??

I read this morning Rober Scoble’s post regarding the iPod and Flash. A quick summary:

On a week when Microsoft landed a big deal to put Silverlight on Nokia phones, Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs, tells Adobe that there won’t be Flash on the iPhone.

I remember reading that an iPod will never have pictures. That an iPod will never have video and I remember how long it took for Apple to get on the whole Podcast band wagon.

I agree with Socble that this is an opportunity for Silverlight etc. but if I was Adobe I wouldn’t be slashing my wrists just yet.

I see there are three ways this could go:

  1. Apple could team up with someone and provide an alternate to Flash
  2. The market could just write a version  of Flash and hook it in
  3. Apple could just do nothing

It is very unlikely that option 3 will happen.  So it’s either 1) or 2).

Apple didn’t embrace Podcasts, the market went forth anyway. Option 2) is a possibility.  Google has a big investment in Flash (YouTube etc).  Commercially, there is a lot of potential for Google and Adobe to combine and come up with something.

Apple teaming up with someone else???  The “someone else” would really have to change the way they work.  Microsoft?  Its possible…  My bet is still with the 2nd one.

We’ll see!

itunes has detected an ipod in recovery mode. you must restore this ipod before it can be used with itunes


I got this message today when I tried to sync my Ipod.

Long story short I found this link here.

Scroll down to comment X.

Start -> Run -> compmgmt.msc
Drill down ‘Storage’, highlight Disk Management
Plug ipod in. Wait.
Make sure the computer management window is the topmost window. If you don’t, you won’t be able to get in there and change the drive letter of your ipod. The ipod will disappear out of the computer management window once itunes rejects it, or accepts your acknowledgement that it’s rejecting it.
Then I think i right clicked on the volume (or something) and changed the drive letter.
Just to make sure windows remembered my change, I ejected the pod and plugged it in again. Looks like it was mapped to the letter I had specified. Don’t know if this setting will hold after a reboot/cold boot.

Anyway people, check this…ipod seems to want to take a drive letter closest to your fixed volumes. At work, I have a C and E internal HD, so Ipod was looking for F:. But F: was mapped to the porn directory on my company’s server, so I got the error (NO, NOT PORN. heheheh). Now I forced ipod to take G:. I guess the best way to avoid this issue on a network like this is to keep all the low letters (A->G or something) reserved for your local comp, and the high letters (Z -> M or whatever) for mapped network drives.

Rock on in Lebanon!

Too easy!